(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.
About Buster Hein
A hot stew of Apple rumors has been boiling all week…
The iPhone 6’s official unveiling is less than a month away, and even though we pretty much know what it’s going to look like, the rumor mill hasn’t let up on new details that could make their way into the iPhone 6.
Once again, we’re donning our finest gypsy apparel and stepping behind the crystal ball to divine the truth behind this week’s most plausible and impossible rumors to see if NFC really is coming to the iPhone, whether the iPad Air 2 will get a RAM upgrade, and if it’s true that iWatch is too hopelessly behind to launch in 2014.
Come stare into our crystal ball to see past the rumors and into the future…
Partially assembled iPhone 6
The Rumor: This partially assembled iPhone 6 is the best glimpse we’ve seen of the new device.
The Verdict: True. Feld and Volk shared images of an assembled front panel and rear shell this week that show pretty much exactly what Tim Cook will announce next month: a curvy iPhone with big display, recessed volume buttons, tweaked speaker holes, and a sapphire glass display.
iPad Air 2 gets 2GB of RAM
The Rumor: iPad Air 2 will get double the RAM.
The Verdict: True. The iPad Mini got a bump up to 1GB of RAM last year, putting it on par with the iPad Air 2, but 2014 will be the year the iPad Air gets bumped up to 2GB of RAM. And for good reasons too, as Apple needs all the power it can get to run the split-screen multitasking feature it stripped out of iOS 8.
iPhone 6 gets beefed up storage
The Rumor: The iPhone 6 will get up to 128GB of storage.
The Verdict: Believe it. Leaked schematics point to this being the year that Apple beefs up physical storage on the iPhone, and with NAND Flash modules being so cheap, adding a lot extra storage is the least Apple can do this year if sapphire displays are delayed until 2015.
5.5-inch rear shell leaks
The Rumor: These are photos of the 5.5-inch iPhone’s rear shell.
The Verdict: Finally. We’ve been inundated with leaked parts for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 all summer, but BestTechInfo got their hands on the first 5.5-inch shell we’ve seen. It looks like it’s now safe again to believe the iPhablet will land in 2014.
50% faster LTE speeds coming this fall
The Rumor: iPhone 6 will use Qualcomm’s MDM9625 for 50% LTE speeds.
The Verdict: Most likely. The guys at GeekBar claim the iPhone 6 won’t support LTE Category 6 like previous rumors suggested, but it will still get an LTE speed boost, topping out at 150Mbps, instead of the super-fast 300Mbps some fans were hoping for.
iWatch is too far behind schedule
The Rumor: iWatch is running too late for a 2014 launch
The Verdict: Too early to tell. Ming-Chi Kuo reiterated his position that the iWatch won’t land this year because it represents a much higher level of difficulty for component and system design. Apple could launch it at the beginning of 2015, but there’s no way they’ll miss out on a massive holiday shopping season, even if it means launching the iWatch with limited supplies for the first few months.
Lightning cables with a reversible USB port?
The Rumor: Lightning cables are about to get a reversible USB end too.
The Verdict: Definitely, and they may even be ready in time for the iPhone 6. The new USB Type-C standard imitates Lightning with a reversible plug, but Apple’s found a way to make USB Type-A cables reversible too by simply removing a buffer section.
NFC rumors won't die
The Rumor: Leaked schematics reveal NFC support really is coming to the iPhone 6.
The Verdict:INCONCEIVABLE! The NFC rumors just won’t die this year. You’re telling me Apple could have added an NFC chip to any iPhone over the last four years, but for some reason they’ve decided to wait until the end of 2014, when NFC has been practically forgotten by consumers?
It sounds slightly crazy, but there’s been so much evidence pointing to its inclusion in the iPhone 6, that even I am pretty much convinced it’s coming. If Apple is rolling out a new mobile payments system, NFC could be the star player.
Apple is nearly ready to become the go-to place for healthcare providers to get all your personal fitness data, and along with meeting with hospitals to talk about the benefits of HealthKit, Apple has been talking to the countries biggest health insurance providers about partnering with its health initiatives.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been under fire all year for being run pretty much the exact opposite way as Apple. Needing all the help they can get, Tim Cook payed a visit to the local Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto this afternoon.
Tim tweeted that he met with doctors and veterans at the VA Palo Alto with Congresswoman. Anna G. Eshoo. The hospital now uses iPads to help treat vets and families, and you can bet Tim did a little campaigning for HealthKit and iOS 8 while pulling out his best Patch Adams impersonations.
The iPad program at VA Palo Alto was initiated at the beginning of 2013 and now claims shorter-than-average wait times for both primary and specialty care appointments. Newly confirmed secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald, also visited the Palo Alto VA yesterday and said it sets the standard within the troubled health care system, calling it the “crown jewel.”
Other than getting to #humblebrag to all your friends that Dr. Dre is your colleague at the top tech company in the world, working for Apple has some serious benefits in the form of cash money.
Apple makes sure to compensate most of its corporate employees enough to at least afford a Tesla. But if you’ve ever been curious how much each position at Apple earns a year, the folks at BusinessVibes created the graph based on data from GlassDoor that ranks over 20 jobs at Apple based on pay from the lowly Mac Genius to Jony Ive’s industrial designers.
The good news for coders ready for a career switch is even software quality assurance engineers start around $92k a year, but of course Apple places the most value on industrial designers who bring home nearly $30k more a year than the 2nd highest paid employees – hardware engineers.
iPhone 6 leaks have stolen most our attention lately ahead of next month’s big reveal, but a new set of leaked images may have just given us our first look at some of the iPad Air 2’s internal components.
Other leaks have shown the next-gen iPad Air’s rear shell and front display, but alleged images of the iPAd Air 2’s Wi-Fi module, GPS antenna, and microphone were posted today by Chinese Apple blogger Xiaolong Cahakan, indicating full production on Apple’s next tablet is about to get underway.
Find My iPhone has been invaluable at recovering lost Apple devices, but if you’re anything like me, keeping track of where you parked the car amid a sea of concrete and sedans is even harder than remembering where you dropped your selfie machine.
Apple’s latest patent filings reveal it has been working to solve those lost car disasters with an ingenious system that could be included in the future iPhones to guide you back to your vehicle, and it doesn’t even need an LTE or GPS signal.
Apple has released the second public beta of OS X Yosemite to participants in its first ever open beta program for the desktop operating system that opened up last month.
The public release follows the sixth OS X Yosemite beta that was seeded to developers earlier this week, and also comes with an iTunes 12 update that can be downloaded through the Mac App Store.
Apple’s annual refresh of the iPad lineup is less than two months away, but for those who don’t mind getting last year’s model, Best Buy is slashing $75 off the price of all iPad Air models, but sale will only last for 24-hours.
Details of the iPhone 6 have been leaking like a broken water balloon the past few weeks, but while details on the upcoming iPad Air 2 have been scarce, a new report claims Apple plans to increase the next-generation iPad Air’s performance with a big RAM upgrade.
Supply chain sources from China have told TechNews in Taiwan that Apple will double the amount of RAM in the iPad Air 2 to 2GB, but the iPad mini with Retina display will continue to pack only 1GB of RAM.
Apple fans, are you ready for some football? Because NFL Now is ready to blitz Apple TV users with a trove of on-demand video and other football content straight from its brand new channel dedicated to everything football.
Just in time for the regular season kick off on September 4th, Apple TV has added the NFL Now channel which provides free access to the NFL’s massive video library of game highlight, press conferences, classic games, NFL Films and more.